- published 3/27 (Larry) - unpublished ?

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Cost of property cleanup unlikely to be recovered.

The Town of Franklin will be acting on two nuisance violations that have taken place inside the city limits as a result of Monday night’s meeting.

The town's nuisance ordinance states that any owner, lessee, or occupant of any property within the town shall keep such property clean and clear of defined nuisances as well as all weeds, wild growth and grass over 10 inches in height. It also says that every owner, lessee, or occupant will keep such property free and clear of filth, open wells or containers, and all refuse materials of every kind and description.

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Two Macon County inmates spent nearly 15 hours on the run Friday morning after scaling a fence at the Macon County Detention Center in the wee hours of the morning.

Around 1:30 a.m. on Friday, Buster Lee Biddix and Richard Frank Sanford Jr., scaled a fence at the detention center using the handle of a plastic spray bottle to hold down the Constantine razor wire that lines the jail’s fencing.

The two men were considered “trustees” and were on work detail at the jail when they made the escape. “At night 'trustees' are used to clean the facility, such as mop, wash and dry clothes, clean food trays from supper that are hauled back in the morning when they deliver breakfast, cleaning of the law enforcement center and various other cleaning that needs to be done and cannot be done during regular hours...”

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The ballot for Jackson County Sheriff contained a full spate of candidates vying for the seat that came open earlier this year when longtime sheriff Jimmy Ashe announced he would not be seeking re-election. During the primary election held earlier this month, voters had three Republican candidates and six Democratic candidates from which to chose.

While the Democratic candidate was decided on election night with Chip Hall, the Republican election was too close to call. Curtis Lambert received 424 votes, more than both Mary Rock and Jimmy Hodgins, but did not receive the 40 percent needed to secure his place on the November ballot, meaning either of the other two candidates could request a runoff. Rock and Hodgins were separated by a single vote, with Rock receiving 375 and Hodgins receiving 376.

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that USDA is making a historic $78 million investment in local and regional food systems, including food hubs, farmers markets, aggregation and processing facilities, distribution services, and other local food business enterprises.

"The 2014 Farm Bill has given USDA new tools, resources and authority to support the rural economy," Vilsack said. "Consumer demand for locally-produced food is strong and growing, and farmers and ranchers are positioning their businesses to meet that demand. As this sector continues to mature, we see aggregation, processing, and distribution enterprises across the local food supply chain growing rapidly. These historic USDA investments in support of local food give farmers and ranchers more market opportunities, provide consumers with more choices, and create jobs in both rural and urban communities."

Vilsack said that $48 million in loan guarantees for local food projects is now available through USDA 's Rural Development's Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program, and $30 million is available through competitive grants via the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) Farmers Market and Local Foods Promotion Program.

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The Franklin Town Board of Aldermen are considering adding a K-9 unit to the Franklin Police Department. The addition would allow the department to have its own drug sniffing dog.

In the proposed 2014-2015 fiscal year budget, $29,000 is set aside for supplies to the police department and within that, is $3,800 more set aside for the addition of a canine.

“You have some things to consider,” said Summer Woodard, acting town manager for the town. “You could scrap the idea all together; $3,800 isn't going to get you too far with a canine. However, if you feel that there is a need for a K-9 unit, my recommendation is that you look at a puppy that could be put through the proper training requirements. Just direct me how you would like to go there. We can eliminate it and put the money back in for tazers, radios, and whatever else may need to be purchased or we can pursue the K-9 unit.”

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Last Friday afternoon, May 16, Paula Renee Anglin, 43, of Franklin turned herself in at the Macon County Detention Center on an outstanding arrest warrant for feloniously disseminating obscene materials

to a minor. According to the warrant that was issued for her arrest, it is believed that the acts occurred between Jan. 1, 2014, through May 9, 2014.

Anglin was employed as a receptionist at Macon Middle School (MMS) and was placed on suspension indefinitely before being terminated at Monday's Board of Education meeting.

Just last week, MMS math teacher and junior varsity baseball coach, Jeff Rousselle was arrested for indecent liberties with a child and indecent liberties with a student.

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State blamed for town’s decreasing fund balance.

When a proposed town budget was distributed at last month's Franklin Board of Aldermen meeting, it contained an interesting proposition in the manager's budget message concerning the fiscal year 2014-2015.

“A modest tax increase is recommended to adjust the ad valorem tax rate to twenty-six cents ($0.26) per one hundred dollars ($100) of valuation,” said then-town manager Warren Cabe. “This will allow a modest transfer from undesignated funds to be used for balancing the budget while maintaining a healthy and sustainable fiscal future for the Town while still accomplishing several projects.”

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Rate increases, reduced revenues prompting action.

While presenting his proposed budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year, Macon County Manager Derek Roland informed commissioners that next year could be the last year that Macon County would operate under the current structure of the county’s health benefit plan.

Roland made commissioners aware of substantial changes that are to be expected during the coming fiscal year regarding revisions to the pay plan brought on by steadily increasing claims, combined with decreasing county contributions into the health insurance fund.

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County commissioners debate restoring prayer before meetings following Supreme Court ruling to allow it

Macon County Commissioner Chairman Kevin Corbin, along with the consensus of the board, instructed county attorney Chester Jones to look into drafting a resolution that would bring back the practice of praying before county meetings.

“As chairman, I would recommend we ask the county attorney to give us some guidance on that and perhaps we could reinstate having the prayers at our meeting—with consensus of the board.”

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On May 12, Macon Middle School math teacher and junior varsity baseball coach Jeffrey Todd Rousselle was arrested and charged with indecent liberties with a child and indecent liberties with a student, both of which are felonies.

The charges resulted after an investigation was carried out by Macon County Sheriff's Office Detectives Dani Burrows and Amy Stewart.

The investigators received a report that Rousselle had been communicating electronically with minor females who were students and/or prior students of Macon Middle School (MMS).

“This was good police work on their part,” said Macon County Sheriff Robbie Holland. “They received vital information, followed up on it and it led to the charges.”

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published: 10/18/2013
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